Actor Grigory Chapkis, who danced before Stalin, dies

Ukrainian dancer and choreographer Grigory Chapkis died at the age of 92, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Telegram. “I will never forget his school, his contribution to the history of Ukrainian dance,” he wrote. Chapkis was known for speaking to Soviet leaders, including Joseph Stalin.

The official cause of Chapkis’s death is still unknown. Ukrainian media reported that in recent months, the artist was hospitalized in the hospital three times, and once he was in intensive care due to lung problems. It is possible that this may be due to the coronavirus.

Chapkis was born in 1930 in Chisinau, when he was part of Romania. After the war, his family moved to Kiev. In 1945, the young man performed with the song and dance ensemble in the Kremlin in front of Stalin. Then the Soviet leader presented the 15-year-old Chapkis with a wristwatch.

In addition, Chapkis managed to star in several films – “The Road to Nowhere”, “Lombard”, “Autumn Waltz”. He was married four times. One of the daughters – Anna Safronchik, became a successful actress in the West, starred in films with Penelope Cruz, Nicole Kidman and Sophia Loren.



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